Various folk have made various helpful suggestions:
1) talk to the Université du temps libre
2) talk to the leaders of Eau Vive (a charismatic Catholic group)
3) talk to the hotels
4) talk to the institutional church in the heart of Bordeaux
Helpful suggestions all, and behold! as I was in the Maison de la Bible on Tuesday morning the pastor fo the institutional church came in. I didn't recognise her at first, I've only seen her once at a service back during my sabbatical. Anyway, we talked. A couple of things she said stood out from our exchange and communicated the subtext "you, of course, should not exist". Things like, "but you are not a pastor?" "Oh yes I am." "Trained?" "Yes, everything. Fourteen years of pastoral ministry before coming to France." "But how far are we going to go with all these churches...?"
It's clear that the CNEF's goal of a church for 10 000 people has not yet been adopted on a wide scale.
I'm a simple soul and didn't notice how thoroughly I'd been dissed until my colleague remarked on it And of course, once you notice it stings. But anyway, after the initial smart wore off I came to this conclusion: Start with the people closest to you and work out.
Now there's nobody who is both geographically and theologically close, of course, so it's the next sphere out, and I wrote a quick letter and friendly email to the nearest churches asking if we could conceivably rent their building on a Sunday evening. After sending by email yesterday I'll post the letter today then phone early next week.
Meanwhile we don't yet have an answer either way from our closest collaborators.
Then I'll hit the trail big time.