I'm really surprised about the sectarian thing present in other parts of England such as Liverpool which I always perceived as a pretty catholic city due, I believe to the great swathes of Irish immigration over the years.
For all our faults down south, of which I am sure there are many, sectarianism isn't one of them.
My parents were strict catholics, I had a lot of it at home and then again at both my schools state catholic junior and convent senior. The Irish nuns did much to crank up divisions in a subliminal way, for example when the protestants filed out of the classroom at my convent, when we the catholic girls had to attend mass in the chapel on a "saints" day, once they were down the corridor some nun or other would pronounce "let us pray for their protestant souls so they aren't committed to eternal damnation" or some such drivel! We had a couple of really nice French nuns. However the Irish nuns could be a spiteful lot, I say that as someone who had a half Irish grandmother and friends from school with Irish parents who would agree with me. I like many have read about atrocities committed by certain orders against young women and children in Ireland and so I guess we got off light we only had to suffer tongue lashings not physical abuse.. My enduring opinion is that many of these women should not have been around children. and they certainly did nothing to promote religious cohesion with such asinine utterances "as you may go into a protestant church for a wedding if you have to but bear in mind God won't be present in their churches"
Obviously as a child one cannot make an informed choice about religion, even though "confirmation" is supposed to be such a time when one does that. I was still at junior school when I was confirmed, it happened pretty soon after our First Holy Communion as many of us girls wore the very same dress when we were confirmed so we learnt the catechism by rote for this purpose but with no real understanding of what we were undertaking.
My parents thought they were doing the right thing for our souls, they also thought they were doing the right thing when my maternal grandfather was dying in hospital and they with my grandmother got a priest along whilst he was on his deathbed presumably to have some sort of conversion into the church so the last rites could be administered and then a catholic funeral to follow . If I could speak to them today I would question that, he wasn't a catholic baptised CofE and actually half Jewish as I've discovered of late and although my grandparents married in a catholic church and their children were brought up catholic, he didn't practice any religion, so all in all not sure they did the right thing there even if it was for the best of intentions according to what they believed. Anyway, I will say this for them outside of school and church they didn't place any restrictions on who I made friends with, insomuch as religious background was irrelevant.
I think some of the vestiges of what I now see as indoctrination remain, I did think about bringing my own children up catholic for a while but on balance I think religion should be something an individual should make an informed choice about rather than have it foisted upon them and I do agree in an ideal world we wouldn't separate children off on the basis of religion.