Lockdown was a strange time. The city was quiet. There was almost no traffic at all. When people went out for their hour of exercise or to do their shopping the city felt calm and safe.
Then a year ago for the election of mayors France was swept by a green wave - ecology party candidates won in lots of cities, including Bordeaux.
There had already been pressure to replace large areas of concrete and wide roads with trees and green spaces, but now things have accelerated. Trees are being planted in the vast paved square outside the town hall and the cathedral. Bike lanes have been painted onto the inner ring road. More streets have been pedestrianised or made one-way with bikes allowed to go against the traffic. There are noticeably more bikes in the streets than before.
Meanwhile the city has a principle it is trying to put in place of having all the basic services you need for everyday life available to you within a 15 minute walk. So the idea is that everyone within the city of Bordeaux should be able to walk to the doctor, to a dentist, to a hairdresser, to a baker, a café, a supermarket, and so on.
For our area this is hard because it's all new. We do already have a doctor and a supermarket well within 15 minutes, and cafés and bakers are not much further.
It is bound to make you think of churches. Will Bordeaux see a day when there is a gospel church within 15 minutes walk?
We are praying for the day when the 8 sub-town-halls of Bordeaux all have a gospel church within them. That's one goal, and though things have greatly improved in the suburbs of Bordeaux, in the city itself we're still a long way off.
The CNEF is encouraging prayer to see a gospel church for every 10,000 people. That would mean 24 gospel churches within the inner ring road. Another goal
A church within 15 minutes walk of anyone and everyone adds the idea of being spread out through the different areas of the city - the smart and trendy Chartrons as well as the multicultural Saint-Michel.